The W.H. Pepper Preschool was established in 1894 when the concept of early childhood education was first being developed. Pepper was introduced to the idea while visiting a school in Germany under the direction of Fredrick Froebel, one of the pioneers of the early childhood education movement.
While there Pepper observed that the children, when introduced to different activities and encouraged to follow their own interests, became more engaged in and responsive to their learning experience. This inspired Pepper to open the first school in Northern California specifically for young children.
The teachers at W.H. Pepper Preschool work together as a team to prepare a loving and educationally exciting program. Each teacher has fulfilled state requirements for early childhood education instructors and continues to attend college courses and enrichment workshops.
The W.H. Pepper Preschool Director, Carolyn Wasielewski, is an early childhood education and music specialist who has dedicated her life to working with children. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in Expressive Arts from Sonoma State University, she continued her studies in Europe where she completed advanced courses at the Orff-Schulwerk Conservatory and the Institute of Dalcroze. Carolyn also holds a Master's in Early Childhood Education, and continues to offer an innovative music program designed for children preschool through sixth grade entitled "Music, Movement & the Child". Her teaching experience includes being an adjunct faculty member at the Santa Rosa Junior College and a consultant to a variety of early childhood education organizations such as Northern Association of Educators for Young Children.
Erica has been working with young children for nearly twenty years. She has had the opportunity to work in a variety of programs that have utilized many different philosophies and approaches to education, including high scope, early intervention and Montessori, but has always come back to Pepper where she began teaching in 1998.
Erica's greatest strength as a teacher is her dedication to observation and using an intuitive approach to prepare environments that inspire, challenge and engage multiple intelligences. She is a passionate educator with a dedication to early childhood.
Erica is currently working on her thesis to complete her M.A. in human development with a focus on early childhood education. In her free time she enjoys Pilates and photography and spending time with her husband and daughter.
Maybelle Rosenlund has been fostering growth in young children of Sonoma County since her graduation in Santa Rosa Junior College in 1979 with her A.A. in Early Childhood Education. She started teaching at W.H. Pepper Preschool in 2002 and said, "This feels like home; I think I'll stay." She looks forward to helping more families with their first steps in education.
Heidi Noble has been working with children for 25 years in child care, preschool, after school care, sports camps, and elementary schools. Heidi graduated from Sonoma State University and went on to get her teaching credential. She originally came to W.H. Pepper Preschool as a parent. All three of her children began their schooling at W.H. Pepper Preschool. Eventually W.H. Pepper Preschool invited her to teach there. She felt it was a wonderful opportunity to stay connected to a very special place and has been teaching there since 2011.